Suns offseason plans 2023: Free agents & trade options

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Not even Kevin Durant could prevent them from hitting rock bottom, and now we’re here, discussing the Phoenix Suns offseason plans in 2023. This team may have peaked already, and winning basketball games on paper isn’t good enough in real life.

The Suns will go through a major transition after letting Monty Williams go. But there are also several upcoming Suns free agents and multiple targets they should consider if they want to make the most of the championship core they have right now.

Suns offseason plans 2023

With that in mind, we’ll take an in-depth look at the current status of the Phoenix Suns, as well as some of the Suns offseason rumors, citing what they should and shouldn’t do to go back to the NBA Finals after another disappointing end to the season.

Free agents

The narrative around the Suns was that they were a thin team, but it seems like Monty Williams didn’t trust his bench enough, as they had plenty of bucket-getters like Terrence Ross and T.J. Warren. Josh Okogie won’t give them much offensively, but he’s a solid defender, and Damion Lee was one of the most efficient three-point shooters in the league.

Moreover, Bismack Biyombo, while far from elite, still gave them plenty of solid minutes in the regular season, especially when Deandre Ayton was out. Last but not least, there’s still a chance that Darius Bazley turns out to be a solid two-way player if given a long leash.


Potential targets

With that in mind, one could assume that the Suns free agency targets in 2023 will mostly consist of star or bonafide players. Kyrie Irving was a rumored target earlier in the offseason, and some even believe they could have a shot at James Harden.

But then again, that may not be realistic unless they find a way to do a sign-and-trade, as they won’t even have the mid-level trade exception. Perhaps options like D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Naz Reid, or Jalen McDaniels would be likelier for them.

Who’ll take over?

The Suns also need to know who’s going to be in charge of the team going forward. Monty Williams  was instrumental in their culture turnaround, but it seemed like he had already maxed out with this team. They no longer needed a motivator but a tactician.

Now, they’ll be primed with the tough task of replacing a coach that led them to the NBA Finals and the guy who won the most games in the league since 2021. Nick Nurse might be great with the Xs and Os, but does he have a strong-enough presence to deal with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant?

Durant was one of the key actors behind Kenny Atkinson being fired by the Brooklyn Nets, so he’s obviously not a choice. Mike D’Antoni hasn’t coached for a while, and god knows he won’t improve their defense, so he might not be a wise choice, either.


We always have Doc Rivers, but he might be the last person you’re looking for when you want a team to do well in the playoffs. Perhaps Mike Budenholzer? He did beat Durant when he was with the Milwaukee Bucks, and he also got the best of the Suns in the NBA Finals.

Chris Paul: Keep or trade?

There’s a big elephant in the room they also need to address. Chris Paul is washed, plain and simple. Of course, a washed-out Chris Paul is still better than 90% of the point guards out there, but he might not be what they need right now.

Paul has failed to stay healthy in the playoffs for the better part of his career. More than that, he’s had a long history of underperforming when it matters the most, and he’s not getting any younger. His trade value might be at an all-time low, so moving on from him could lead to one of the worst NBA trades of the offseason.

Then again, multiple teams could still look to add a veteran to develop some culture in the locker room, and the Suns could most definitely use the depth. It’s a tough break, and it’s sad to know he may never win a ring, but it is what it is at this point.

Moving on from Ayton

And last but not least, most of the Suns offseason plans for 2023 should consist of finding a trade partner for Deandre Ayton. They need to come to peace with the fact that he doesn’t want to be there, and he couldn’t have made it more evident during the playoffs.

Ayton’s effort — or lack thereof — was obvious and lowkey embarrassing against the Denver Nuggets. It’s one thing to get outplayed by Nikola Jokic; you can get a pass for that. But not even trying to go for a rebound is unacceptable for an NBA player, let alone a starter, former first-overall pick, and guy who just got paid a big contract.

He’s still young and a physical specimen with a gifted offensive game, and he proved that he can be a defensive factor when motivated. So, they need to find him a new place where he actually wants to be, contribute, and be held accountable, while also bringing in a new defensive-minded big man.

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